This morning, for the first time in ages, I went for a run. Now, the first thing you need to understand about my lack of running recently is that it is not entirely (or even mainly) down to the lockdown. I was determined to keep running after the half marathon, just as I always am, but I only managed a few runs before going into a winter shutdown, just as I always do. So, lockdown has really been a convenient excuse not to restart in March as I usually would.
Now, I can’t say I particularly wanted to go for a run this morning. As I keep telling people (although nobody seems to believe me) I don’t actually enjoy running. I’m not sure I’ve ever really enjoyed the running part of running. I enjoy the challenge of completing races. I enjoy chatting with friends. I even enjoy the challenge of setting myself a target and hitting it. But the actual running part? Not so much.
Despite that, a number of people had expressed surprise that I hadn’t been for a run yet, and I suppose it felt like time that I got out there and did it. I wasn’t that worried about it – Belinda’s workout sessions have kept me pretty active and thanks to her focus on abs, I even managed to complete a 90 second plank the other day in response to a challenge from a friend. That may not sound like an achievement but is for me. When I was training for the marathon I had to start at 20 seconds and that nearly killed me! I may be the only person coming out of lockdown in better physical shape than I went into it.
So, after two days of short walks and a day off yesterday, I dusted my trainers off and set off for a run. I walked down as far as the riverbed to loosen up, and noticed on the way that my ankles were a bit sore. Strange. But when I started running, they stopped hurting. Even stranger. I guess running uses different muscles.
I told myself I’d run for 10 minutes in one direction then turn round and run back again. 20 minutes should be enough to do an easy 3km. And so it was – 3.25km in fact. And I actually found myself smiling to myself as I was running. What the heck?
I still won’t say I enjoyed it, but I did enjoy the fact that I had closed both my move and exercise rings before breakfast. And now I don’t have to run again for at least two days, and I like the sound of that too.